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review 2017-06-27 11:50
Review: Royce Rolls
Royce Rolls - Margaret Stohl

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I was really looking forward to this one. I’m actually not interested in reality television. (With the exception of Judge Judy and court TV)  I pretty much loathe the type of reality TV this book is based on. But I do actually like novels about reality TV.

 

Unfortunately, this book didn’t work for me at all. The satirical nature of it was almost too over the top, it seemed to be going one minute like it was making light of all the ridiculous drama that this scripted reality family go through, then tried to be deep and meaningful as the main character tried to do whatever it took to keep her family together.

 

The biggest problem I had was the main characters, the Royces,  were all horrible horrible people. The mother Mercedes is the worst type of all about me showbiz mother who only seems interested in keeping the show on air, the eldest daughter Porsche, who was an attention seeking bimbo, focused only on her own fame and her own product line of cosmetics. The sixteen year old daughter Bentley is the one the reader is supposed to be routing for, nothing like the vapid character she supposedly portrays on the show she’s really quite deep and smarter than anyone ever imagined. Problem for this reader was I just didn’t like her. And then there’s Maybach, the youngest brother, who’s sole purpose seems to be the cute gay brother. Though for Bach, he seemed to just have a gambling problem that was used as plot point later on rather than give him a romance or something.

 

The premise of the novel is the show is on the verge of cancellation, the family want to keep it going, Bentley wants out and wants to go to college instead. So they keep coming up with more and more ridiculous antics to keep the public watching. So the older sister comes up with an idea for making a wedding, which would give her new product lines and sponsorships and things. Of course it’s all a big fake.

 

But when the chosen groom makes an appearance it all goes wrong very fast. The drama is ridiculously increasing throughout the novel. And to be fair, Bentley does a pretty good job of playing her role as the brattiest daughter of the bunch, managing to ruin planned events and become the worst sort of paparazzi fodder. It’s told with a tone that’s meant to be humorous, but it’s the type of humour that I found got very old and very tiring quite quickly.

 

Bentley finds herself stressed more than she wants to be, she finds out a pretty shocking secret about her sister’s so-called fiancé. She can’t talk to anyone about it. She’s also dealing with constant bickering between her mother and Porsche who seem to be trying to one up each other in antics meant to get attention. And then there’s annoying network executives to deal with and producers and such.

 

She does get a little bit of freedom when she can sneak away and hang out at the library, where she chats to a boy named Venice who appears to be a vagrant. She can talk to him like herself, she doesn’t have to play a character. And Venice listens to her. He was actually one of the decent characters. He had a huge secret of his own as well.

 

Again to be fair, the twist at towards the end was pretty damn epic.

 

There was just too much annoying stuff about the book in general to care by then, too much of Hollywood image crap, the body shaming was really irritating. While there were some decent scenes of the family coming together, finally, when the answers to the twists are finally revealed. There just wasn’t anything really redeemable by the end for my liking.  Reading it was a bit like even though it’s terrible there was still a need to know how it all turned out.  

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ)

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review 2017-06-27 04:01
Surprising
Misconduct - Samantha Kane

This book is #4 in the Birmingham Rebels series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  To avoid spoilers and better understand the series, I recommend reading in order.

 

Carmina is best friends with a popular football player.  He has introduced her to many others in the sport.  She finds herself attracted to two men.  She cannot decide if it is possible to choose just one.  Both Tom & Danny are attractive to her physically and emotionally.

 

Tom & Danny are roommates and teammates.  They never saw themselves fighting over a girl.  When the worst occurs, neither is willing to walk away from their friendship.  Can they figure things out as things heat up?

 

This series is a joy to read and a challenge to sometimes understand. Love is love, however, and it is interesting to see what acting on an attraction can show you are capable of.  These characters compliment each other so beautifully, that it makes the reader sigh with joy.  Fits the series just perfectly also.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by both Netgalley and its publisher.

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review 2017-06-26 22:44
Lucy Clarke - Last Seen
Last Seen - Lucy Clarke
Sarah and Isla know each other since they were kids. They are still close friends. They got pregnant almost at the same time. Sarah is married to Isla’s ex-lover- Isla is a single mother. Both bought beach huts on the English coastline where they spent their summers. All is perfect until one day the boys went swimming but only Jacob, Sarah’s son, returned. Marley, Isla’s boy, was never found and presumed drowned. Isla is desperate. But despite this happened on this sandbank she returns every year to to visit Sarah and her family and feel close to Marley. She loves remembering how happy her little boy was while they were at the hut. How he played with Jacob. But after a few years she senses little fractions in her friendship to Sarah. It seems as Sarah doesn’t want to share her family any more with Isla.

The book begins after Jacob disappears. He is 17 know and he did not come home after a beach party. Isla just left after the anniversary of Marley’s death. It is obvious that something happened between the two women.

The story is told alternating from Sarah an Islas point of view. We learn that everybody has secrets. Especially one of them has a huge problem with telling the truth. One lie leads to the next and soon there are many layers of lies which build up to a tragedy.

The author did a great job in creating a very atmospheric story. I loved the setting of this English sandbank and the little beach huts. Both women love their huts where they spent so many happy summers with their sons. Especially Isla loves to return to the hut because it reminds her so much of Marley. For me this was a dark and sad story. I felt especially sorry for Isla and poor Marley. Lies are told to protect somebody but mostly to protect oneself. But these lies destroyed two families. A little boy died tragically and another life was ruined.

The characters in this book are very realistic and strong. I felt with both women although I started to despise one of them while reading. It is a complex and clever story but also a slow burner. It is not a fast paced book but it is worth your reading time.

This was my second book from Lucy Clarke but definitely not my last one

 
 
 
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review 2017-06-26 11:56
Review: It Started With Goodbye
It Started With Goodbye - Christina June

Netgalley actually granted one of my request wishes! Which was a fun summery themed contemporary YA novel. There was nothing startlingly original about the plot. Tatum is an average snarky teenager with a larger than life spoiled rich girl best friend, a dad who works far too much and is often out the country on business, a stepmother who’s way too strict and a step sister who is a goody two shoes.

 

At the start of the novel Tatum and her best friend whose name I have already forgotten get big trouble when the BFF and her sleazeball boyfriend are caught doing some major shoplifting. Of which Tatum was unaware, she was in the car waiting for them when the police showed up and was lumped in as the getaway driver.

 

While her BFF gets off with practically no punishment other than transferred to a snotty boarding school miles away, Tatum gets stuck with community service, a fine, grounded all summer, a mass of chores and lecturing from her parents. Her dad has to go out of the country on business so she’s been left with her stepmother to met out the punishment.  The sister is a brilliant dancer and goes to some snooty art school, Tatum has a secret graphic design business she’s trying to get off the ground. After a show at her sister’s school, she leaves some of her business cards out, and starts getting some responses.

 

For the most part Tatum was actually quite a likeable character, she was easy to relate to and understand as she moaned about her situation, it’s no fun being grounded during the summer! Doesn’t help when her stepmother announces that her mother, Tatum’s grandma is coming to stay for the summer as well. Thankfully, Grandma turns out to be really cool, and actually listens to what Tatum has to say, doesn’t automatically dismiss her as a grumpy teen.

 

She ends up trading emails with a music student interested in her graphic design service, and they get to know each other throughout email. It’s delightfully cute and entertaining, the guy is a cellist and he introduces her to new artists and music she’s never heard, including some of his own pieces. There’s some wonderful descriptions and emotions brought out as Tatum listens to the pieces. It was quite surprising and incredibly moving in parts.

 

She’s made some friends with some of the kids on her community service team that she knows from school, and a guy in a band. She’s gets some escape from her monotony of community service then chores from a baby sitting job she’s supposed to be doing, which gives her a breath of freedom. Turns out that the step sister isn’t actually as bad as she’s made out to be, and later on in the novel through conversations with the grandmother she learns some things about her stepmom that explain why she’s the way she is.

 

Some nice scenes of the family coming together towards the end as discussions are held, after many many arguments, tears and tantrums throughout the summer.

 

A decent read, with a cute romance, family drama and likeable characters.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Blink for granting my wish to view the title.   

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review 2017-06-26 03:24
The Child
The Child - Fiona Barton
ISBN: 978-1101990483
Publisher: Berkley 
Publication Date: 6/27/2017 
Format: Hardcover 
My Rating: 5 Stars 

 

Join Me June 27 Blog Tour Host

Fiona Barton returns following her award-winning debut The Widow, landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016, with a riveting follow-up, THE CHILD — as readers catch up with journalist Kate from the first book.

From love and loss, a character-driven intense psychological suspense tale of three women. Emotional destruction — dark secrets and lies are exposed, a whodunit mystery keeping readers glued the pages to the twisty finale!

You can bury the story . . . but you can’t hide the truth.

“When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.” — Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Kate Waters, a journalist was bored. She needed a story. She soon finds an intriguing case and she will not stop until she writes the story and solves the mystery.

Headlined “Baby’s Body Found.”

An infant’s skeleton had been unearthed on a building site in Woolwich near London. The police were investigating. No other details. She tore it out of the paper to save for later as she often does when running across a potential story.

Who is the baby and how did it die? Who would bury a baby? How could anyone kill a baby?

When checking with the authorities she found newborns were tricky when it came to DNA especially if they have been underground for years.

Kate loved a glint of something in the dark. Someone to absorb her totally. Something to sink her teeth into. Anything to get her out of the office. She is obsessed with finding out the name of this baby. She wants the story. The Building Site Baby. Who drove someone to bury a baby?

 

 



From alternating POVs, we hear from Kate and the three women: Emma Simmonds, Jude Massingham, and Angela Irving. (enjoyed the way each section is clearly defined).

Angela’s newborn daughter went missing some 28 years earlier. Every March 20 she would cry, thinking of Alice’s birthday. She had less than twenty-four hours with her. The dread would come each year before the baby’s birthday. She could not put the painful memories behind her.

Emma suffers from anxiety and depression from her past. She knows that a secret takes on a life of its own. She must protect her secret. She will keep it safe.

“I’ve always thought that’s a funny saying. Let sleeping dogs lie. Because sleeping dogs always wake up eventually, don’t they?”



Angela soon calls Kate to find out more. Could this be her daughter? She has never given up hope her daughter would one day be found.

Jude had been a single mom in the late seventies trying to forge a new career with a child to look after, but the rent was cheap. It did not matter where she lived, she was caught in her own little world. She threw Jude out of the house when she was sixteen, choosing her boyfriend Will over her daughter.

How does this current tragedy connect these three women? Secrets threaten current lives. A nameless child.

With alternating time periods (2012-2013) with flashbacks to the 70s-80s, Kate continues to dig deep to solve the mystery of the baby. She begins looking at old missing children cases from the 70’s to the mid-1990s. (Loved Kate from The Widow) and her tenacity!

 

 


Barton captivates readers with an enthralling page-turner, as addictive and intense as her debut. How well you know those closest to you?

A well-written slow-burning whodunit suspense mystery with depth, Barton once again shines, using her own career as a journalist to enhance the intensity and mystery of the Building Site Baby. Even though each of the women brings emotion to the story, the real mystery to be uncovered comes from the relationship between Emma and Jude and how this connects with Angela.

Highly recommend, both The Widow and The Child. For fans of Mary Kubica, B.A. Paris, Clare Mackintosh, and Ruth Ware. These talented ladies are TOP-Notch authors and enjoy their writing style.

Often a psychological suspense makes a big impact, even though they may not always be edge-of-your-seat fast paced action. I also enjoyed reading about the inspiration behind the novel.

A strong theme of motherhood with a twisty surprise ending. A mother who has not given up after forty-two years. Readers will be drawn into the lives of each of these women. Savor and unravel the mysterious puzzle, with many red herrings. The tension mounts and all the secrets and lies surface. Enjoy the journey.

Well-crafted, twisty, addictive, and intriguing. Can’t wait to see what comes next. . .

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

About the Author

 

My career has taken some surprising twists and turns over the years. I have been a journalist - senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where I won Reporter of the Year at the National Press Awards, gave up my job to volunteer in Sri Lanka and since 2008, have trained and worked with exiled and threatened journalists all over the world.

But through it all, a story was cooking in my head.

 

The worm of my first book infected me long ago when, as a national newspaper journalist covering notorious crimes and trials, I found myself wondering what the wives of those accused really knew - or allowed themselves to know.

 

It took the liberation of my career change to turn that fascination into a tale of a missing child, narrated by the wife of the man suspected of the crime, the detective leading the hunt, the journalist covering the case and the mother of the victim.

Much to my astonishment and delight, The Widow was published in 36 countries and made the Sunday Times and New York Times Best Seller lists.

 

It gave me the confidence to write a second book ,The Child, in which I return to another story that had intrigued me as a journalist. It begins with the discovery of a newborn's skeleton on a building site. It only makes a paragraph in an evening newspaper but for three women it's impossible to ignore.

 

The Child will be published in June 2017 and I am embarking on my next novel. My husband and I are still living the good life in south-west France, where I am writing in bed, early in the morning when the only distraction is our cockerel, Titch, crowing.  

 

Read More 

 

 

 

 

"The ultimate psychological thriller! Barton carefully unspools this dark, intimate tale of a terrible crime, a stifling marriage, and the lies spouses tell not just to each other, but to themselves in order to make it through. The ending totally blew me away!"  --Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author  

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/01/03/The-Child
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